Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Gorgeous Cakes...just because!






From time to time I have decided I am just going to post some beautiful wedding-related 'things' that I stumble across...just because who does not enjoy gazing upon all the fun, 'fluffy 'stuff? That is the reason that [most] of us got into the wedding industry in the first place - right?? Enjoy some truly spectacular images of wedding cakes from Chicago cake divas "TheCakegirls!"

Monday, July 30, 2007

Still More Real Wedding PR



We are thrilled that yet another gorgeous REAL Cayman Islands wedding has been chosen as a featured wedding on TheKnot! The wedding of Thara & Joel was held at the 100 year old plantation by the sea, Grand Old House and shot by the fabulous and super cool Cayman Islands photographer Rebecca Davidson. Thanks to Senior Editor (and faithful blog reader!) Christa Vagnozzi for selecting this wedding to share with TheKnot audience! Click here to see the entire piece.

Using Real weddings is one of the most powerful PR/marketing and sales tools today - they allow you to connect with your audience better than any staged photo [or worse - overused stock image!] ever could.

It is at the core of what we help our clients achieve...and pays off with very real results! Look for more coming soon!

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Brides at Work

This graphic from Glamour Magazine [part of a series of of most annoying co-workers] says it all. In fact, I have always found it very interesting that the heaviest traffic time on BRIDES.com is on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 2pm-4pm. That is when most brides are [supposed] to be working!!! Any of you who have planned your own wedding, worked with someone planning a wedding or had someone working for and planning a wedding understand this all too well.

Wedding planning is all-consuming, all encompassing on every level - emotional, relational, financial, etc.

It is the single largest [i.e. most expensive] life event that most people will ever host or have hosted on their behalf. Be aware and respectful of the single focus most of these clients have - it really is ALL about the wedding for the months of planning - exciting, stressful and thrilling all at the same time!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Fabulous Hit!


Stunning! That is the best way to describe the Summer '07 issue of Weddings Unveiled. I have blogged about my love for them before but with each issue my appreciation grows! Even more so with the incredible 4-page feature in the latest issue on the Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman - [which by the way was JUST awarded the coveted AAA 5-Diamond award status - one of only 4 resorts in the whole Caribbean]!!!!

I have mentioned before about the wildly successful bridal press trip that I hosted on behalf of our long time client, The Cayman Islands Department of Tourism back in April. The coverage has been out of this world and we could not be more grateful [senior writer and total hoot Lil Springer joined us]. So glad that those who experience this special destination and magnificent new resort firsthand feel the same way about it as we do!

Thank you and Congrats to the editors of Weddings Unveiled for yet another spectacular issue - we wait with baited breath for the Fall edition!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

My Big Fat Fabulous Wedding

From VH-1 - set your TIVO's for the new series debuting this Thursday night at 10:00pm est:

"Get ready for some serious wedding bling! The Fab Life Presents: My Big Fat Fabulous Wedding is going behind the scenes of the most extravagant nuptials in America. These aren't celebrity couples, just average brides and grooms -- well, only if "average" means spending $450,000... on d├ęcor alone! From Manhattan to Maui, each episode will follow one couple's wedding planning process and will capture all the amazing details, tough decisions, and sky-high spending that goes into creating the most amazing celebrations. Whether it's scouring Rodeo Drive for the perfect diamonds or flying in hand-picked flowers from Ecuador, watch as budgets balloon up to one million dollars and beyond. My Big Fat Fabulous Wedding isn't only about money and excess. It's about the couples' passion for each other, their obsession with getting it right, and their willingness to spend whatever it takes to impress their guests and pull off the wedding of their dreams!"

The very first episode follows a couple throwing "the biggest wedding New Jersey has ever seen - costing over $1 million!" Should be entertaining to say the least...I just watched all (7) casting tapes for the featured weddings and must say that this series promises some real characters and truly 'over the top' weddings [the least expensive being $270,000 and most expensive in excess of $2 million!].

Tune in for some priceless insights into this [interesting] segment of the big-budget wedding market!!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

"Industry Woos Asian Weddings...

"Industry Woos Asian Weddings, Even as U.S. Reshapes Them" from The Washington Post.

Very interesting article on the changing face of multicultural weddings, traditions and the wedding professionals who serve them.

A great read if you are already working with many cultures or if you you are looking to expand your market presence. Click here to check it out!

[thanks to the weekly round-up on WeddingBee for this!]

Monday, July 23, 2007

Bridal Emergency!

Wedding Day Emergencies! They do happen - it is inevitable. I highly recommend that every wedding professional have one of these on hand...not just wedding planners. Let's face it - when a bridal emergency happens anyone and everyone is in the line of fire to come to the rescue: catering manager, photographer, floral designer, etc...so don't be caught empty-handed! Saving the day is part of your job.

Two of our favorite "ready-made" kits to keep on hand are The Wedding DaySurvival Kit and the brand new kit from celebrity planner Mindy Weiss [most recently having planned Eva Longoria and Tony Parker's wedding!] available from her fun e-commerce website Shop Love Me. Both are reasonable in price ($49.95 - $65.00) and have just about everything you and your brides could possibly need to save the day!

Friday, July 20, 2007

PR OPP: Grace Ormond Wedding Style Magazine

We received this email today and wanted to pass it along - Grace Ormond Wedding Style is one of the most GORGEOUS, high end magazines out there today - what a fabulous PR opp!

CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS: Feature Wedding and Miscellaneous Images

"As we begin our 2008 issues of Wedding Style and Wedding Style New England we are looking for submissions in the following areas:

- tabletops; Due: Friday, August 10th
- feature weddings; Due, Monday, September 3rd
- chuppas/ceremonial arches; Due: Friday, August 10th
- dogs; Due: Wednesday, August 8th
- children; Due: Wednesday, August 8th
- ice bars; Due: Friday, August 10th
- reception lounges; Due: Friday, August 10th

You may email submissions (no more than 5 MB per email) or send a CD/photos to either address noted below. Any image that you submit in digital format, at low resolution (72 dpi) must be available in high resolution (300 dpi) should we decide to use it in print.

Please check out our updated submission guidelines for full details on specifications on how to submit:

http://www.weddingstylemagazine.com/about-wedding-style/submissions.pdf

Thank you in advance for your anticipated submission. We always value all submission contributions."

Jessica Latimer
Managing Editor
T: 401.245.9726

Mailing Address:
PO Box 89
Barrington, RI 02806
jessica@weddingstylemagazine.com

Good Luck!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Raffles Canouan on Cover of Modern Bride!



Received my August/September issue of Modern Bride this week and was thrilled to see one of my all time favorite places on earth on the cover - Raffles Canouan in the Grenadines!!! Kathryn and I had the very lucky opportunity to visit Raffles last year on a luxury wedding press trip...and we were blown away. It is perfect in every way - from the 17th century stone church used exclusively for weddings sitting right in the center of the property to the opulent private villas, crystal blue sea, open-air Amirita Spa [quite possibly the most exquisite over water palapa spa experience ever!], stunning mountain top ballroom with sweeping terraces looking out over the sea, gourmet cuisine, impeccable service and the list goes on, and on and on...you get the point. This is one magical place. We have had the pleasure of befriending the fabulous Karen Ching, Weddings Sales Director for Raffles and enjoy time spent with her at any opportunity - she is one of the up and coming forces in weddings today and 'gets it' on every level! Kudos to Karen and her entire team for landing this cover - no small feat and impressive indeed! We are not surprised.

If you ever have the chance to visit this luxury tropical paradise - get on the next plane and stay as long as you possibly can. It is heaven on earth!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Weddings in New Orleans: More than Ever Before!


Just back from my very first visit to New Orleans! Hard to believe that I have never been there but we went up to visit my brother [see earlier post], sister-in-law and niece & nephew to kick off our sumer vacation. WOW. Loved it! So interesting and unique in every way. Nowhere in the world like it and I cannot wait to return again and spend some more time discovering the city.

I was surprised to learn post-Katrina that NOLA is the number #3 domestic wedding destination [behind Las Vegas and Hawaii]. Weddings are up there, way up. We see this again and again...weddings are the one industry that are truly recession and disaster-proof. This was true post-911, we saw it in Grand Cayman post-hurricane Ivan and now in New Orleans. From an article posted today in New Orleans City Business:

"New Orleans remains a wedding destination hot spot even post-Katrina. Mary Beth Romig, director of communications and public relations for the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau, said destination weddings have always been big in New Orleans but are even more important now. Wedding numbers held steady while general leisure travel, family reunions and international group business dropped post-Katrina. In the first six months of 2005, the NOMCVB worked on 38 wedding possibilities. For the same period this year, 61 leads arose. Read the entire article here.

There are so many great things about the wedding industry...it is pretty much the perfect market to be in: recession and disaster-proof, constantly re-generating, a milestone event, incredible word of mouth exposure, creates lifelong brand ambassadors and so much more!

[top wedding photo by Michael Caswell]

Monday, July 16, 2007

Wedding Overload

I recently came across this graphic...and it so perfectly illustrates how brides undoubtably feel at some point in their planning process.

Overwhelmed. Oversold. Over it.
There is really no other life stage event that has so many moving parts and critical decisions that ultimately fall on one very stressed out person to execute. As a wedding industry professional - it is always good to be reminded of where you fit into the overall picture. Of course, you view YOUR segment of the wedding as most important - that is only natural. But remember - while in your mind the catering is most critical or the honeymoon travel details or the wedding cake design & flavors or the floral/lighting/linen design or the photographs or the music or the gown choice and so on and so on...it is but one element of a very complicated puzzle for the bride & groom.
Give these clients a break - just touch base every once in awhile to see how they are doing - not to burden them with more questions/choices/decisions but just to let them know you are thinking of them and wishing them well.
Wow. They will be simply amazed and eternally grateful.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Watercolor Days



Nothing beats a week at the beach!! I travel to some of the most perfect beaches in the world and love them all for different reasons - but our week at Watercolor in the Florida Panhandle was the perfect family getaway! No airplanes - just an easy 6 hour drive from Celebration [that in and of itself is a huge vacation - as I sit writing this entry from the Admirals Club in Dallas-Ft. Worth in between flights not even 20 hours after our return home!]. We rented a huge beach house that was brand new and looked as if it was straight out of Coastal Living - and no one wanted to leave! The sugar sand beaches and gorgeous blue water evoke the Caribbean but with a southern, coastal feel. Sand dunes, wild seagrass, bike rides, porch swings, peel & eat shrimp, chilled mango scented towels, rum slush and perfect, lazy summer days re-connecting with cherished family [see a shot of my girls Annie & Gracie above!] and great friends! It was heaven.
Both Watercolor and Seaside are amazing destinations for weddings and boast top notch wedding professionals and stunning locations - we checked many of them out while there. It is very popular with couples from the southern states but offers a unique Florida experience that is dramatically different from any other area...a hidden treasure! Of course, it is really not a hidden treasure for many - in fact, Travel +Leisure Magazine recently named Watercolor the #1 Family Friendly Resort in North America, the #7 best overall resort in North America and #36 in the world!!

We are already planning our next vacation there...but for now - back to work!! Look for updates to this blog soon - so much happened while we were away (7-7-07, Eva Longoria Wedding, License to Wed and more) - lots to catch up on!

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Taking a (much needed) break!



You will notice it is a bit quieter here on the blog this week and next...that is because Engaging Concepts is on summer holiday!! Will post about our experiences on Florida's Emerald Coast at Watercolor, Seaside [yes - where they filmed "The Truman Show!"] and Rosemary Beach when we get back!

Happy Summer!